while I was over at 166 MOTT meeting AMY LI, HASH HALPER dropped by and invited me over to see his ‘summer palace’ . . . YEAR of 2013.
a very strange, but sweet spot – a little further on, deep into Chinatown – on historic Pell St.

Chinatown, as in: downtown. New York City.

don’t know how an inner city photo shot, came out like that .. but sure looks like Hash is walking in the Himalayas, or what.

just strolling in a small village – with Chinese storefront banners all a flutter.
a mountain/skyscraper horizon – hulking in the distance, against an endless cloudy blue sky.
must be the ancestor ‘gods’ of Chinatown . . taking over. for sure.
I just press the shutter button. I never calculate the view.
that’s why, or when .. . photography crosses over into art – but, like they say: another story, for another time. who am I.
I just write the story.
I just follow the . . the breadcrumbs.

it was among one of the strangest places I had ever been to – and that’s saying a lot. at first glance: it was a just a narrow gated doorway . . on a bustling Chinatown street.

but beyond that anonymous street level door, was a steep narrow staircase .. literally plastered in hand-marbled paper designs. Hash led the way.

the phrase: a ‘marbled’ staircase – did come to mind.

the intense 24-7 marbling had been done by TRISTAN REGINATO, a young artist on the NYC cutting edge . . who just happened to materialize out of nowhere . . he’s on the left, in the cap.
I guess it was he, who Hash been dialing up – from his phone.

they are both wearing one-of-a-kind t-shirts . . of Tristan’s design & making.

TRISTAN REGINATO, handmade marbling. and I do mean 24-7. and I do mean . . intense.

at the top of the marbled and mysterious ‘stairway to heaven’, or at the very least . . an upward ‘tunnel of hand wrought creativity’ . . HASH had transformed what had probably been a small illegal apartment . . into an exhibition space.
even after the ‘swirly’ stairway set-up . . it was still striking . . to find oneself confronted by a larger-than-life, metal-forged human skeleton. a ‘head-less’ skeleton at that.
with his displaced head, alluding to medieval European armor, at his feet.

taking visual clues from the helmet-like head, the stand-alone figure . . spoke ‘knightly’, a noble ‘gnarly’ old skeleton . . who looked as if he had seen many a harsh century go by.
kind of like in ‘Raiders of the Ark’ – the one with the ghostly mean eternal knights . . who guard the holy grail.

TRISTAN REGINATO, and his, yes !! – headless skeleton.
a curious metal ‘has-been’ creature, with his head loped off at the neck, at the spine. a violently red, candle in it’s place. it had obviously been lit too. so, that was spooky, and ritualistic .. and metaphors, abounded.

poetic. mysterious. unknowing, unknown . . .
so many fleeting questions .. arise from the twisted, beaten . . heated, and then frozen metal.

Tristan’s metaphysical meandering .. seemed poised between the European stride of the skeleton, and his head, to a world view . . that seemed to point back – to the orient.
the strange placement of a very eastern arts inspired candelabra,resting on the floor, just behind the splayed feet. and also dripping with previously lit, candle wax.

so, is there a link between the cutting edge and the past ? is there an ancient dialog that remains, ghostly hovering – informing all ages.
if yes, it’s called the creative unconscious.
and the yearning for answers amidst death, immortality, and decay. though in a sense the metal frame had escaped decay – but then, where was the flesh ? is there life without flesh.
without history.
without .. ancestors.

we’ve had metal wrought ‘beings’ . . incised and formed with symbols from day one of our discovery of the ‘metal arts’ . . from complex ‘mini’ scaled mass cosmos Hindu creations .. to giant inticate many-armed Tibetan gods, buddhas . . who materialize to the call of ancient chants, or just the tinkle of a temple bell . .

there’s a lot of knowledge we forgot, and a lot . . we never knew.
I think we basically just get by on . . like 5% – of what’s really out there.
is this skeleton saying: . . we better power up soon, expand our belief system ?
the piece raised many questions, there was no clear narrative, but for the ones the viewer himself, projected onto it’s strong, but eroded metal figure, and the red flower-like candle trail . . at it’s feet.

a small piece of fabric fluttered in the window . . like a Tibetan prayer flag.


the summer had been ‘an unknown season’ to me, too. I had been lost in ‘unknowing’ the future, unknowing my life – but I had made it to the last day of Hash and Tristan’s show.
so, yeah . . I’ll take that as a sign, a validation of . . going forward.

continues . . . or rather: TO BE CONTINUED.